Porter Fox's DEEP Featured At Next Ski-Lit 1/27
“Skiing offers a good barometer of the trouble we’re in — and, as this book reminds us, one more good reason for wanting to face that trouble,” Bill McKibben, author of “Oil and Honey,” co-founder 350.org
Do Eskimos really have lots of words for snow? Mental Floss responds to the urban myth that suggests the answer is “many.”
“There are three answers to this question: a heck of a lot, not that many, and a whole heck of a lot. Or, if you want specifics: 5, 2, and 99. Confused? The question has been problematic, and the best way to understand what the answers mean is to take a look at the history of people talking about Eskimo words for snow.
There is no single “Eskimo” language. “Eskimo” is a loose term for the Inuit and Yupik peoples living in the polar regions of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Siberia. They speak a variety of languages, the larger ones being Central Alaskan Yup’ik, West Greenlandic (Kalaallisut), and Inuktitut. There are multiple dialects of each. Some have more words for snow than others.”
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But if we don’t get with the program (ways to mitigate the impact of climate change), we might wind up with just one word to describe snow: GONE.
And that is, in part, the subject of Porter Fox’s latest book, “Deep: The Story of Skiing and Future of Snow.”
Porter Fox is the next author coming to town for a talk and book signing, part of an author series, Ski-Lit, put together by Daiva Chesonis of Between the Covers Bookstore and Erik Dalton of Jagged Edge. The event takes place Monday, January 27, at Jagged Edge.
“Deep” captures the 8,000-year-old sport of skiing, the miracle of snow and the shocking truth of how climate change could wipe out both in the next 75 years.
The narrative follows the unlikely rise of skiing from prehistoric Norwegian hunters to nobility in the Alps in the 1800s to present-day freeriders on the vaunted slopes of the Rocky Mountains. On his global tour of the most celebrated mountains in the Northern Hemisphere—from Washington’s Cascade Range to the European Alps—Fox talked to alpinists about the allure and mysticism of the sport and to scientists about climate change and its effect on snow—ultimately finding a story that is far larger than the demise of skiing.
For the seven million skiers in America who dedicate their winters to tracking storms and waking up at dawn to catch the first chairlift, the lifestyle change will be radical. It will likely be far worse for the rest of the world.
Fox uses primary interviews and evidence, mixed with groundbreaking scientific studies, to explain exactly how and when the Great Melt will play out—and the tremendous groundswell that is rising up to stop it. “Deep” provides firsthand accounts from skiers and scientists who are mapping a way to mitigate climate change, reduce human impact on our planet and repair the water cycle. As it turns out, their efforts to save snow and ice might end up saving the world.
“This book is not just about skiing. It is about the vital role snow and ice play in the climate system and water cycle of the planet. And how the window to repair those systems is closing. I traveled 2,000 miles through the Rockies and Alps to talk to scientists, snow experts, skiers, ranchers, farmers and anyone who knows anything about snow. What I found was 1) a catastrophe that is gaining momentum and 2) a clear path to stop it.
“This book is about something I dedicated my life to a long time. It’s also about something that will affect our children and grandchildren more than us,” explained Fox.
“Porter Fox tells the story of skiing’s history through the sport’s most intriguing and iconic characters, and he looks ahead to the future of what winter sports stand to lose if climate change continues its same patterns. Throughout it all, he weaves the story of an avalanche that changed the course of the sport, and the people at the middle of that tragedy. “Deep” isn’t just a book that will appeal to life-long skiers, but its compelling storytelling is sure to rivet even non-skiers, too,” raved Megan Michelson, ESPN.com
Porter Fox grew up in northern Maine, where he began skiing at age two – and writing at about the same time. He graduated in 1994 from Middlebury College, where he ski-patrolled for the Middlebury Snow Bowl and sold season passes for Mad River Glen.
“My two favorite disciplines, skiing and writing, naturally merged when I graduated from college and moved to Jackson Hole to ski for a year. I cut my teeth as a reporter at the Jackson Hole News in the mid-1990s, covering local events and ski personalities like Doug Coombs, the Hunt brothers and the crew at Teton Gravity Research.”
In 1999, Powder Magazine hired Fox and since then, he has skied on five continents and written more than 50 features for the magazine.
Since 2002, Fox has lived in Brooklyn, New York, and worked as the features editor for Powder. He earned an MFA in creative writing from The New School in 2004 and has published fiction, essays and nonfiction in The New York Times Magazine, The Believer, Outside, Men’s Journal, National Geographic Adventure, Narrative, The Literary Review and Third Coast, among other noted rags.
His work has been anthologized in Best American Travel Writing and nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and the 2009 Robert Olen Butler Fiction Prize.
To learn more, click the “play” button and listen to what Porter Fox has to say about his life and work and the startling facts about he discovered in his research about climate change, snow and skiing.
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